BT Broadband Buyers Guide

The UK's largest telecoms provider offering nationwide broadband availability with the same low prices even in rural areas

  • Wide range of packages available with truly unlimited usage
  • Ultrafast broadband up to 900Mb available in some areas
  • Free access to over 5 million BT Wi-Fi hotspots
  • Free technical support over a variety of media
  • Stay Fast Guarantee - get your promised speeds or £20 back
  • Wide range of TV inclusive options including Sky TV and BT Sport

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BT Fibre Essential
£24.99 for 24 months
£34.99 thereafter

£9.99 upfront cost

  • 24 months reduced price!
  • 36Mb average download speed
  • 9Mb average upload speed!
  • Truly unlimited usage
  • 36Mb average download speed
  • Unlimited Wi-Fi access
  • BT Home Hub 5 with N-rated Wi-Fi
  • BT Virus Protect on 2 devices
  • 200GB Cloud Storage
  • No activation fee
  • 24 month contract
 

Buy now

BT Fibre 2
£29.99 for 24 months
£39.99 thereafter

£9.99 upfront cost

  • Ending £90 BT Reward Card!
  • 24 months reduced price!
  • 67Mb average download speed
  • 18Mb average upload speed!
  • Truly unlimited usage
  • BT Smart Hub with ac-rated Wi-Fi and smart technology to give faster connections in more rooms!
  • Stay Fast Guarantee - get your promised speeds or £20 back
  • No activation fee
  • 24 month contract
 

Buy now

BT TV Entertainment with Fibre 2
£41.99 for 24 months
£49.99 thereafter

£9.99 upfront cost

  • Ending £90 BT Reward Card!
  • 24 months reduced price!
  • 67Mb average download speed
  • 18Mb average upload speed!
  • Truly unlimited usage
  • AMC channel free with BT TV
  • BT Smart Hub with ac-rated Wi-Fi and smart technology to give faster connections in more rooms!
  • BT Sport Pack free with BT TV
  • No activation fee
  • 24 month contract

Buy now

Details last checked on 2021-09-17

Reasons to choose BT

  • Lots of speed options - starting at 10Mb and rising to gigabit full fibre broadband
  • Ultrafast deals available - full fibre and G.fast deals available in supported areas
  • Sky TV without a dish - add premium TV, including Sky channels through NOW TV, plus BT Sport
  • Free anti-virus software included - protect 15 computers and phones
  • Speed guarantee - if you don't reach the promised speed you will be able to get a refund
  • Free cloud storage - get up to 1000GB of free cloud storage on some packages
  • Free Wi-Fi - you can access five million hotspots around the country after you sign up

Possible downsides

  • Must use BT for phone - unlike some providers, it's not possible to take your call plan and line rental from another phone supplier
  • Long contracts - you must sign up for two years
  • Not the cheapest - BT are often pricier than the smaller providers
  • Annual CPI plus 3.9% price rises - prices for broadband, line, call plans and call charges will increase with the Consumer Price Index plus 3.9% in June 2021, March 2022 and then annually each March onwards

Features at a glance

  • Download speeds range from 10Mb for standard broadband, 50Mb for Superfast Fibre, 67Mb for Superfast Fibre 2, up to 900Mb average for full fibre

  • 24 month contracts on all deals

  • Truly unlimited download allowances

  • Activation or P&P usually required on all deals

  • Free customer support, 8am to 9pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 8pm Saturday and Sunday

  • Security includes free BT Virus Protect for between two and 15 devices, plus Parental Controls

  • BT Smart Hub as standard with fibre deals; Home Hub 4 with standard broadband

  • Range of BT TV packages available including the full Sky TV service via NOW TV

  • Inclusive phone calling to UK landline numbers with some packages

  • Free access to thousands of wi-fi hotspots worldwide

  • Line rental required for all packages

  • BT Broadband have published a Traffic Management Policy

3.1 stars
  satisfaction rating based on 6331 customer ratings since 2020-09-21. See more BT customer ratings and reviews.

Customer Reviews

Sometimes the best way to get a feel for a broadband provider is to read what those who are already customers think of the service they're receiving. Below are all the reviews we've received for BT.

Customer Ratings Summary

  • Satisfaction
    3.1 stars
  • Customer Service
    3.1 stars
  • Speed
    2.9 stars
  • Reliability
    3 stars

Based on 6331 customer ratings since 2020-09-21

Show all time ratings

Add your own review of BT

Ratings are left by users of our speed test as well as by reviewers. Recent star ratings summarise the last 12 months of ratings or the last 100 placed, whichever is largest.

Reviewer Location Reviewing Date Ratings
Not reliable, they had to give me a refund in the past as broadband not working. Yet again it failed today and no way to get access. This could last at least 2 days. Terrible customer service. I will go to another provider the moment that I get out of my contract!
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    3 stars
  • Reliability
    1 star
Folkestone BT  
Waited in for an engineer and nobody turned up then rebooked the appointment and the same happened again! Still haven’t got internet and they said there’s nothing they can do just book again.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
Bradford BT  
Terrible costumer service. Wasted 1.5h setting up a contract. They misspelled the address and now they are asking me to redo all 1.5h of setting up a new contract. They can not change a simple details THEY got wrong. Ridiculous.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
London BT  
Waste of time you don’t get any where near the speeds you pay for. The customer service is awful put simply don’t bother
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Birmingham BT  
Absolutely irresponsible service. The engineers didn’t turn up on the date I have been given. When I called BT customer service they don’t have any clue/ they did not contact the open reach. The date I was given was 3 weeks after order — very delayed set up dates.Even after waiting 3 weeks nothing has been done by them. Then they have me another 3 weeks time. Which means 6 weeks for installation. No communication from them. I had to call millions of time to understand what’s happening. And when you call each person come up with differing information. Basically I fed up with the long wait and moved to virgin. They gave me 1 week time to set up. Let’s see what virgin can do!
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Datchet BT  
Waited over a month for a refunded bill. Refunded me £5! Had to to ring multiple times this week to chase and get my full refund of £40 to be told today I would be receiving it by check in the next 10 days. Quick enough to take it tho! I cancelled within the first week coz your engineer couldn't be bothered to fit the router in my living room and left wires all over the floor when I have a 1 year old and a puppy. Nothing but hard work. Wouldn't advise anybody to use BT
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Preston BT  
Absolutely vile to go for. Awaited for 3 weeks now. Got our first appointment last week and the engineer could be bothered coming out, got told we had been booked in yesterday 1/09/2021 and they changed it to today 2/9/2021. To then find out the engineer has not been bothered to come out again. Had a text to say they will review and book me in for a couple weeks time. We live in an area of no service and need internet and when they make 4 failed promises on us and don’t stick to their agreements it makes me think is the owner actually disabled? Does he has something wrong with him? They’re lying scumbags who just want your money and won’t provide a service. I’ve got better chance of having a gangbang with the hottest pornstars than them following through with their promises. Ugly little turds.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Cleveleys BT  
Overall I have been very satisfied with the broadband both it's speed and reliability. But I can't give a rating for the customer service as it is almost non existent. Up to this year I have never had any issue but since June this year after making a complaint BT have given nothing in the way of customer service. They keep using the excuse of the pandemic but that is all it is, an excuse for not keeping in contact with loyal customers. Very poor.
  • Satisfaction
    3 stars
  • Speed
    4 stars
  • Reliability
    4 stars
Tunstall BT  
Worst customer service I have ever had on the phone for 40 mins and hang up then act like its your fault for not phoning! Absolutely awful company overcharge for rubbish service and make you pay when there is no WiFi
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Aberdeen BT  
You have to wait for them one month to come and install but when you are waiting for them they put your appointment 15 days later without telling you, after two month since I ordered I had to order another broadband.worst customer service,
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Uckfield BT  

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The reviews published on this page are those of the individual authors who have warrantied that they abide by our review guidelines. Reviews are not the opinion of Broadband.co.uk.

Frustrated woman with a laptop

Virgin Media outed by Ofcom as the most complained-about broadband provider

Posted by Andy Betts on in NewsBTSkyPlusnetTalkTalkVirgin MediaEEVodafone

Ofcom's latest figures on broadband complaints are out - and it's bad news for Virgin Media. The company has rocketed to the top of the list as the major broadband supplier that gets the highest rate of complaints.

The report covers January to March this year, and counted the number of complaints made to Ofcom about providers with a market share of 1.5% or more.

It shows that Virgin Media generated 33 complaints per 100,000 customers, an increase of 20 in just a year. That puts them a long way ahead - or should that be behind - the next two worst performers, with Vodafone and TalkTalk both getting 24 complaints. Vodafone had been the worst ranking provider in six of the last seven quarters. Plusnet also generated complaint levels above the industry average.

And that's not the end of the bad news for Virgin Media. They also racked up the highest complaint levels for their landline service (19 per 100,000) and their pay TV service (17 per 100,000), and were second worst for mobile (5 per 100,000) behind Three.

The biggest reason why customers complained to Ofcom about Virgin Media was failings in the broadband provider's own complaints handling system - amounting to 39% in total. A third complained about faults and issues with the service, and a further 13% about billing problems.

Industry-wide, faults, service and provisioning issues accounted for 42% of reports, followed by complaints handling and billing.

Sky and EE were the least complained-about providers, generating just seven apiece. They've been in the top two positions for the last two years. The only other provider to beat the industry average was BT, with 15.

In good news for the industry overall, the average number of complaints has more than halved over the last decade, from 40 per 100,000 in the first quarter of 2011, to 19 now. The numbers are up from a record low of 10 in Q2 of last year, perhaps in part a consequence of pandemic disruption and the increasing importance of internet access for work, school and entertainment.

Broadband complaints per 100,000 customers

  • EE: 7
  • Sky: 7
  • BT: 15
  • Industry average: 19
  • Plusnet: 21
  • Vodafone: 24
  • TalkTalk: 24
  • Virgin Media: 33

In pay TV, Virgin Media generated 17 complaints against an industry average of 6. Sky performed best with just two. For landlines, Virgin had 19 complaints, eight more than the average, and EE and Sky tied as best performers with five each.

Mobile complaints were largely flat, and at much lower levels. Three performed worst with six complaints, while Tesco Mobile, Sky Mobile and EE had just one each.

Service reliability, billing, and complaint handling are important factors you should consider when choosing a new broadband provider. Our site contains thousands of customer ratings and reviews that can give you a true feel for how each provider performs. Currently, Zen top our list for customer satisfaction.

If you aren't happy with the service you're getting from your supplier, and you're coming to the end of your contract, it's easy to switch. Use our postcode checker to find the best broadband deal available in your area today.

Comments

Hands typing on a laptop

7 myths about UK broadband busted

Posted by Andy Betts on in FeaturesCuckooVirgin MediaNOW BroadbandBTSkyVodafoneTalkTalk

There are so many well established ideas about broadband and switching broadband providers that get repeated again and again.

The trouble is, many of them are wrong - and they're costing you money.

Switching suppliers can easily save you a hundred pounds or more every year, and if you're stuck on a slow internet package when you need something much faster, it doesn't have to cost you a fortune to upgrade.

So here are some of the biggest myths about broadband, and the truth that you need to know.

"Fibre is fibre - all fibre broadband is the same"

While fibre broadband is used as a catch-all term, it encompasses very different things.

Most of us are using something called fibre-to-the-cabinet broadband. This is where the ultrafast fibre cables carry your broadband signal as far as your nearest street cabinet - that green box down the end of your road. The connection from the cabinet to you house is over the old copper telephone cables. These are a lot slower, and the signal degrades the further it has to travel, which is why a house on one of the street can get very different performance levels to one at the other end.

There's now a big push to roll out "full fibre" broadband, which is also known as fibre-to-the-home. Here, the fibre cables run right up to your house. The result is that the speeds are much, much faster and the service is more reliable.

"There's no benefit to upgrading to ultrafast broadband"

A recent survey found that one of the main things that stopped people from upgrading to ultrafast or full fibre broadband was the belief that it didn't really offer any benefits. But there are many.

The main one, obviously, is that you get much faster download speeds. Our internet use is skyrocketing - Ofcom's recent Communications Market Report shows that the average household now burns through 429GB of data each month, an increase of 36% on the previous year. Even if you think you don't need faster speeds right now, you will do soon.

On top of that, you get vastly quicker upload speeds, which will be essential if the working from home revolution continues. The service should be more reliable, too, as you won't have to deal with line faults on the old telephone cables.

And it's also better value for money: currently, you pay the same price for your broadband as your neighbour down the street, yet you could be receiving a much slower service. That's far less of an issue with full fibre.

"It's too much hassle to switch providers"

By now it's well established that those of us who are willing to switch providers will get a better and cheaper deal than those who stick with the same provider for a long time.

Why don't more people switch? Because it's seen as too much hassle. But it really isn't.

If you move between two providers on the Openreach network - which includes almost all the main providers, including BT, TalkTalk, Sky, Vodafone, Plusnet and so on - then the one you are moving to will handle the entire switchover process for you. You won't have to do anything, and the whole process should be done within a couple of weeks.

Granted, it is a little more complicated to switch to or from a provider that uses a different infrastructure, like Virgin Media, as you may need an engineer to come and install it. But these companies are now set up to make even this part as easy as possible.

"You'll lose internet access when you switch"

Another reason people are reluctant to switch is that they assume they'll be left without internet access while it happens. This is another myth.

Generally speaking, your old service gets turned off as your new service gets switched on and you might be disconnected for a few minutes in between, but nothing more dramatic than that. If you're switching to or from Virgin Media, you can even arrange an overlap where your new service is connected before your old one is turned off.

"You always have to sign a long contract"

Something that puts off a lot of people when they're looking at broadband deals is the prospect of having to commit to a long contract.

In fact, you don't have to. NOW Broadband, Virgin Media, and newcomer Cuckoo are among the providers that offer no-contract deals. You have to pay a little more on the activation fee up front, but this might be worth it for the flexibility of being able to cancel at any time. These deals can be especially worth it for students or anyone who's planning to move house in the near future.

Most suppliers offer 12 month contract options as well. And keep in mind that if your reluctance to sign a long deal is through the worry that you'll be stuck with something you aren't happy with, then there are ways you can quit a contract without charge. If your broadband speed constantly underperforms, for example, and your supplier cannot fix it, or if they put your prices up by more than the amount in agreed in your contract.

"It's too complicated to find a better deal"

There are a lot broadband suppliers in the UK, and they offer a lot of deals between them. Trying to figure out the differences can be tricky, especially if you aren't that tech savvy.

But it needn't be that complicated. We make it easy for you to compare all the latest broadband deals, and you can filter them based on whatever you want most. So, you can see the cheapest deals, or the fastest deals, or just the fibre packages, or those that offer broadband without a contract.

And if you then sort them further by speed or first year cost, you'll very quickly narrow your list of options down to just a few packages.

"Faster broadband always costs more"

While it's natural to assume that upgrading to faster broadband will cost you more, it isn't necessarily so.

If you're in a coverage area, you can get full fibre from Hyperoptic (at the slower 30Mb speed) at a rate normally reserved for the old, standard broadband deals; you can upgrade to a faster 67Mb plan from OneStream for just £22.50 a month; or you can burst through the 100Mb barrier with Vodafone for just £26 a month. These are some pretty keen prices, that make faster broadband more accessible than you might have expected.

So, now you know the truth about broadband and how to upgrade, are you ready to start shopping? Use our postcode checker to discover the best broadband deals available where you live.

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BT Broadband Buyers Guide - Is BT right for you?

Can I get BT Broadband?

Fibre broadband from BT is available to virtually all homes in the UK. Unless you live in a remote, rural area where you already know that your broadband options are limited, you should be able to get it.

BT broadband runs on the Openreach network (which is also owned by BT Group, although is technically a separate company), so is available through all UK telephone exchanges. This means that BT's fibre-to-the-cabinet services, with average speeds of up to 67Mb, are available to around 98% of UK premises.

As is always true of this type of broadband, the actual speed you'll be able to get will be determined by how far you live from your nearest street cabinet.

BT also do some ultrafast broadband packages through a combination of G.fast technology on upgraded telephone exchanges, and full fibre-to-the-home. Availability varies throughout the country, and BT say that their full fibre services can be accessed in around 8% of the UK.

You can check to see which BT broadband deals are available in your area by using our postcode search tool.

What broadband options are available?

BT have three main fibre-to-the-cabinet plans that are available to almost everyone. They also have some ultrafast fibre packages with much more limited coverage.

The main fibre deals come in three speeds:

  • Fibre Essential - a basic fibre package with an average download speed of 36Mb and uploads of 9Mb, on a two year contract with a £19.99 upfront fee.
  • Fibre 1 - the mid-range fibre service with average download speeds of 50Mb and upload speeds of 9Mb, on a two year contract with a £9.99 P&P charge.
  • Fibre 2 - the fastest of the FTTC packages, with average download speeds of 67Mb and upload speeds of 18Mb, on a two year contract with a £9.99 postage fee.

All three deals come on a 24 month contract, and allow unlimited usage. You get a BT Smart Hub when you sign up, and the deal also comes with a speed guarantee. If you can't achieve the minimum speed you're quoted when you sign up you may be eligible for a refund or even to leave your contract without penalty.

If you're looking for ultrafast broadband, you've got a few options with BT:

  • Fibre 100 - offers average download speeds of 145Mb and upload speeds of 28Mb on a two year deal. Runs on either full fibre or G.fast, depending on which is available where you live.
  • Fibre 250 - average speeds of 300Mb for downloads and 47Mb for uploads on a 24 month contract. Runs on either full fibre or G.fast, depending on availability.
  • Full Fibre - BT offer two full fibre plans to around two million homes. The average speeds are 500Mb downloads/73Mb uploads, and 900Mb downloads/110Mb uploads.

All of these ultrafast deals come on 24 month contracts and include a £9.99 upfront fee for P&P. Availability for all the deals is very limited, and depends on whether the technology has been rolled out where you are. If you choose one of the full fibre plans you'll need to arrange an engineer visit to install it.

You also have the option to add a BT Halo plan to your fibre deals. This gives you, among other benefits, a beefed-up performance guarantee. If your broadband goes down and cannot be quickly fixed, BT will send you a mini 4G router to keep you online while they attempt to repair the fault.

BT also offer a Complete Wi-Fi add-on that includes extra Wi-Fi discs that help to extend your wireless signal throughout your home. If you've got problems with Wi-Fi coverage at home, it's worth looking into.

Do you only have very basic internet needs? You can still pick up a slower standard broadband connection from BT:

  • BT Broadband - fully unlimited broadband on a 24 month contract. The average download speed is 10Mb.

What TV options are available?

BT are one of the few triple play providers that can give you a premium TV bundle alongside your broadband. Buying these as part of the same package could save you money.

Through BT you can get five premium broadband + TV bundles with your choice of the following packages of channels:

  • Entertainment - includes Sky Atlantic, Sky One, Discovery and Comedy Central, plus over 300 boxsets, all provided through the NOW TV streaming service.
  • Big Entertainment - the above Entertainment package plus the Sky Cinema channels and over 1000 movies on demand, all via NOW TV.
  • Sport - all four BT Sport channels and BoxNation.
  • Big Sport - the Sport package, plus 11 Sky Sports channels streamed via NOW TV.
  • VIP - Everything from the Big Entertainment and Big Sport plans.

When you sign up to BT TV you also receive a YouView box for recording shows and pausing live TV.

The TV bundles come on a 24 month contract but they are classed as Flexible packages. This means that you can change your plan every month. So, for example, when the football season ends and you no longer need the sports channels, you can switch to an entertainment bundle instead (your bill will be adjusted accordingly).

If you don't need quite as much premium TV, but would still like to add a few more channels, you have one further option:

Classic Entertainment - a selection of premium channels including National Geographic and AMC, plus a recordable TV box. This package comes on a 24 month deal, and you cannot upgrade or downgrade it.

On all the TV plans, other bolt-ons are available. You can add subscriptions to services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, which are then included in your monthly bill for convenience.

Which package should I choose?

BT give you a great range of speed options, so you can pick the level of service that's right for your household.

While most providers offer just the two fibre-to-the-cabinet deals, BT are rare in that they have the third option in the form of Fibre 1, with an average of 50Mb download speed. It's a good option to consider if you want more than the basic fibre speeds, but live in an area where you cannot get the 67Mb average speed of the higher end package. Before you sign up you'll be given a speed estimate that can help you to decide.

Other than that, it's simply a case of working out what speed you need in your house. The entry level fibre is okay for smaller households with lower usage needs. Busier homes, perhaps with a couple of kids watching Netflix and playing video games, are likely to benefit from Fibre 2.

If you need more than that, or if you want to future-proof your selection (remember - your internet usage is likely to go up over the course of your two year contract), then you could consider one of the ultrafast deals so long as they're available where you live. One of the extra benefits of ultrafast broadband is the faster upload speeds. This can be especially helpful for people who work from home and need to share large files with the office, or take part in lots of video conferencing.

Points to consider before you choose

  • How many people will be using your broadband connection?
  • Are you a heavy downloader, or do you regularly play online games?
  • Do you want Premier League and Champions League football, or prestige TV shows?
  • How heavy is your internet usage and how often do you use it?
  • Would the expense of the faster speed or larger download capacity be worth it for you?

Compare all BT Broadband packages

What do I get when I sign-up?

It's always good to know upfront what you'll get when signing up with an ISP so you know what you can enjoy for free, or to budget for any extras you may want.

  • BT Smart Hub - BT fibre deals come with a Smart Hub, an AC-rated router with seven internal antennas to help give a strong signal throughout your home. You can upgrade to the more feature-laden Smart Hub 2 if you need to.
  • BT Virus Protect with McAfee - protect up to 15 devices, including PCs, Macs and Android phones, against viruses and malware.
  • BT Cloud - back up your important files to the cloud. Storage ranges from 10GB to 1000GB depending on the broadband package you choose.
  • Wi-Fi access - get free access to over five million Wi-Fi hotspots around the UK.
  • YouView TV box - sign up for a premium TV package and you'll also receive a YouView TV box that enables you to record and pause live TV.

What are the benefits of BT Broadband?

The benefits offered by an ISP may be what seals the deal in your decision to buy a package from them.

  • Lots of speed options - with speeds from 10Mb to 900Mb, you'll be covered whatever you need.
  • Ultrafast deals available - want faster than a basic fibre deal? Ultrafast packages are available in some areas.
  • Premium TV bundles - you can add a flexible TV bundle to your package. It's also a great way to get Sky without needing a dish.
  • Complete Wi-Fi guarantee - with some packages or add-ons you'll be sure to get Wi-Fi coverage throughout your home.
  • Free tech support - you can get free support by phone between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday, as well as online.
  • A famous brand - if you like the reassurance of buying a big brand, they don't come any bigger than BT.

What are the drawbacks of BT Broadband?

Let's face it, not everything can be perfect, and even the best deals may have a downside.

  • No short contracts - all the deals come on 24 month contracts, so won't be suitable for everyone.
  • Ultrafast availability is limited - the ultrafast deals can be accessed by around two million customers.
  • Cost - BT are rarely the cheapest provider. If price is your main consideration, look elsewhere (especially to Plusnet, which is owned by BT).
  • Annual CPI increases apply - Prices for broadband, line, call plans and call charges will all increase in June 2021 by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of inflation published by the Office for National Statistics in April of that year plus 3.9%, and then will raise again on the same CPI plus 3.9% basis each March from 2022 onwards. Other prices, content and terms may also change during your contract. 
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